$81.9M REDC Awards Support Binghamton University's Incubator and innovative academic programs for STEM students
BINGHAMTON, NY – Binghamton University stands to gain significant support from the latest Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) Awards announced in Albany Wednesday, December 11. The Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council (STREDC) was designated a "top performer" by the state and awarded $81.9 million for 87 projects. Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger is the STREDC’s co-chair along with Tom Tranter, President of Corning Enterprises. Stenger was in Albany Wednesday to hear the good news.
"We were confident going into the process because we felt we had a solid plan that was regional, innovative, broad-based and catalytic," said President Harvey Stenger. He added, "I want to thank all of our Regional Council members including my Co-chair Tom Tranter as well as everyone who had a hand in crafting these proposals. Our job is to leverage these important economic development dollars from the state in order to advance our local economy and create jobs. This latest award will go a long way in helping us carry out this regional plan that we expect will pay dividends for years to come."
In addition to being a "top performer" and receiving an $81.9 million financial package that is a combination of cash and tax credits, the Southern Tier REDC also competed for and won one of the "Innovation Hot Spot" designations for its regional incubator initiative. The STREDC’s plan outlined a virtual hot spot that included Binghamton University’s incubator in Downtown Binghamton, Corning University’s Incubator in Ithaca and Corning Incorporated’s Ceramics Corridor Innovation Center, which is affiliated with Alfred University.
The virtual concept that links these three major geographic areas and their incubators is designed to foster innovation, commercialization and job creation through the collaborative efforts of academic, industry and government partners. The "Hot Spot" designation comes with $250,000 in funding and will enable the three nodes that make up the regional "Hot Spot" to take advantage of additional state sponsored support services and incentives.
President Stenger and the leaders of the other regional incubators believe the "Hot Spot" designation will help the area break down walls and build networks that take advantage of all of the strengths embedded throughout the entire Southern Tier.
Binghamton University’s new incubator will be one of the keys to this regional approach. It will focus on high demand areas such as health sciences, energy efficiency and systems integration and packaging.
The Southern Tier High Technology Incubator, Inc. (STHTI) will have the physical structure as well as the collaborative network to make this a destination location for entrepreneurship and a launching pad for technology based companies.
The research done on the University’s campus combined with its depth of knowledge and support system for technology transfer will play a major role in this regional collaboration.
This "Hot Spot" designation will allow Binghamton University, Corning Incorporated and Cornell University to cement together deep resources of innovation to create an entrepreneurial eco-system.
"We have a unique opportunity here to collaborate like no other region in New York State has ever done before, and as few have done across the United States," said Stenger. "This process has provided us with the opportunity to come together and figure out that while we are strong individually, we are a major economic power when we pool our resources and our intellectual capital."
Stenger believes it was this regional approach that allowed STREDC to once again achieve "top performer" status and to also become one of the first of five Innovation Hot Spots in the state.
In addition to receiving the "Hot Spot" designation for its proposed incubator, Binghamton University also received $750,000 for another priority project. This initiative focuses specifically on enhancing educational programs on campus. It’s called; Exponentially Increasing Science Technology Engineering STEM Research for Economic Development.
It is an innovative, research-based program with the goal of providing every Binghamton University undergraduate STEM student with authentic research experiences throughout their four years at Binghamton. New laboratories will be designed, constructed and outfitted to provide infrastructure to fully integrate undergraduate students in leading-edge research across the disciplines.
This STEM student research experience program impacts four of seven of the STREDC strategic priorities: energy, healthcare, technology development and transfer, and workforce development.
The entire list of projects for the Southern Tier as well as the other regions can be viewed at: http://regionalcouncils.ny.gov/assets/documents/2013REDCBooklet.pdf.